Romney adviser hits back at candidate's critics
November 28th, 2012
02:17 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney adviser hits back at candidate's critics

(CNN) – As Republican post-election musings point fingers at perceived short-comings by the former Republican nominee Mitt Romney, his campaign and the GOP as a whole, a top Romney adviser staunchly defended his candidate and warned against Republican infighting.

"Over the years, one of the more troubling characteristics of the Democratic Party and the left in general has been a shortage of loyalty and an abundance of self-loathing," wrote chief Romney strategist Stuart Stevens in an op-ed in the Washington Post Wednesday. "It would be a shame if we Republicans took a narrow presidential loss as a signal that those are traits we should emulate."

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Stevens asserted that while Romney was not a Washington favorite he managed to win the Republican nomination and, ultimately, inspired voters.

"Nobody liked Romney except voters," he wrote in the op-ed. "What began in a small field in New Hampshire grew into a national movement. It wasn't our campaign, it was Mitt Romney."

"When Mitt Romney stood on stage with Barack Obama, it wasn't about television ads or whiz- bang turnout technologies, it was about fundamental Republican ideas versus fundamental Democratic ideas. It was about lower taxes or higher taxes, less government or more government, more freedom or less freedom. And Republican ideals – Mitt Romney – carried the day."

Stevens ticked off a series of Romney's accomplishments - from the former Massachusetts governor's fundraising supremacy to his commanding performances in the debates as well as defending conservative economics. He argued Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as a running mate, despite worries the GOP budget engineer's proposal would turn away seniors, changed the fundamental debate on entitlement reform.

While acknowledging his party's setbacks, Stevens' op-ed fell short of providing a remedy or explanation for the GOP's failure to grab the Oval Office, instead urging conservatives to continue pushing forward.

"The Obama organization ran a great campaign. In my world, the definition of the better campaign is the one that wins," wrote Stevens. "Losing is just losing. It's not a mandate to throw out every idea that the candidate championed, and I would hope it's not seen as an excuse to show disrespect for a good man who fought hard for values we admire."

Stevens himself faced criticism in the heat of the campaign season following a glaring report from Politico revealing tensions among Romney's top advisers and blaming Stevens for some campaign mishaps at the Republican National Convention.

–CNN's Jim Acosta and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (356 Responses)
  1. 22

    The republicans are a big tent party-of every hater group-minority haters,women haters,poor people haters,immigrant haters,old people haters,young people haters........it's exhausting!

    November 28, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  2. Katie

    Sore loser? At least Romney didn't steal the election as pathological liar.

    November 28, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  3. David

    The GOP still has not figured out that you can't run government like you run a business. They are two different animals.

    November 28, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  4. Wes Scott

    Mitt Romney "barely lost" the election? He lost by over 3.2 million popular votes and a 126 vote Electoral College landslide.

    These GOPers need to stop hating the Department of Education and get themselves some, particularly in mathematics. While it is true that Obama got a lot fewer votes this time around so did Romney get fewer votes than McPalin in 2008. A lot of people did not bother voting for whatever reason. But, of those that DID vote more than 3.2 million more voted for Obama than for Romney, and that is a buttkicking no matter how you slice it.

    November 28, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  5. lyn

    These Republicans still don't get it, let me remind you loosers who cast 47% of the American people as victims, you fail all women, as you are now critizing DR. Susan Rice an african American, so stop blaming the Democrats, President Obama win and he win big so get over it.

    November 28, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  6. albie

    how in gods name was it a narrow race if he was beat in EVERY battle ground state? it had to do with the religious nuts – right wing whackos

    November 29, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  7. Kishmein Touchus

    What a delightful column by the man who helped the Republicans show America why President Obama had to be re-elected. Can this man count electoral college and popular votes? His sterling advice must be continued for the welfare of the middle class. With friends like Stuart who needs enemies? There are some good reasons to seriously consider alternatives to Democratic presidential candidates; unfortunately for Stuart his flip flopping etch a sketch tactics merely showed the vacuousness of his candidate, a candidate who had no more of a chance to relate to the common man than the Pope could have a chance to sell crosses in Saudi Arabia. Women, minorities–especially Hispanics, younger voters, why try to take public policy positions that might appeal to the greatest good for the greatest number? Health care, who needs it? Elevators for our many automobiles, everyone needs it. Yachting and dressage are definitely the kind of activities that appeal to the guys and gals of America who have to take a shower after work before they come home. Great job, Stuart. Hope you get to advise the GOP in all of its races in 2014 and forever.

    November 29, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  8. AZ Woman

    Not all of us Democrats are "lefties". Most of us are either moderates and/or conservatives. THAT is what killed Romney. He used to be moderate, then he pandered to get the Republican primary,THEN he tried to get back to the center. THAT is what killed him. Why can't you people realize that? He allowed himself to be a puppet for the right-wing conservatives. The average citizen sits in the median. Not a "leftie" nor a "rightie". We are the people that Jon Stewart talks about. "We'll protest, but we have to be back home by 5 to relieve the babysitter". t yu understand that?

    November 29, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  9. Rogue351

    Romney, Romney aides and all of the Romney supporters. The American people have spoken not just in the electoral vote but in the popular vote. Obama Won, this is a FACT. Obama is the President of the United States of America regardless if you want your state to succeed to bad it is not going to happen. So the most sensible, logical solution is start compromising and working with the president. Going against the president not only will hurt the people it will hurt the GOP in the long term. This Tax pledge is insane, any of you that have signed it have signed away your responsibility to the people. Taxes may need to be raised and cuts may need to happen. Limiting your duty as an elect official to this magnitude is not fare for the people but does not reflect the best interest of the country as a whole. A warning to the GOP, if you do not start laying ball soon there may be no GOP to run from. These next four year are make of break for the GOP. You can either try and regain respect with the people or you can further isolate yourselves. By the way, Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh and Savage along with all of the right wing Obama haters all over the air waves pressing each and everyday how bad OUR president is. It is not helping your position at all. It is fine to have a difference of opinion but the but this constant hatred against the President of the United states is not only unhealthy for your party but is not helping the country recover from the recession. And if you think for 1 second the American people are going to put up with your do nothing attitude for another four years think again. You gave the George Bush way of doing things for 8 years and it didn't work. You tried pushing the American people back into those old ways while drumming up hatred for an American President and it didn't work. That is 12 years of failures. It is time to change your tune or be cast aside. Do the right think. The the thing the president wants, the thing the people want and the thing a growing number of people in your own party want. Leave the elderly alone SS, Medicare. Help the poor. build jobs and tax the rich. YES Tax the rich. They are certainly not putting the money back into well paying jobs people can raise a family on. If that was the case would Romney and McCain have homes all over the united states ? Would workers have to work 3 jobs just to get by ? NO instead the rich are buying luxury sports cars, sending their kids to collage, owning 10 or 11 homes etc. etc. If the rick truly cared about the economics of the United States they would and could go without that 5th or 6th home. they would not need a new Mercedes once a year and a new Ferrari every two years. It is fine to be successful but if you take that much rather you own the company or not you have a responsibility to the people that work for you. And if the rich are not going to make the jobs and pay the wages. And the Republicans idea of just letting everything fail and people get thrown into the streets is not the majority favored idea then it is up to the government. So realistically the rich are 100% to blame for the recession and the mess we have been in for the last 12 years. You have a chance, compromise and do your job.

    November 29, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  10. AZ Woman

    to: ss

    Its about time someone spoke up for Mitt Romney. He came very close to winning.

    Ummm... No, he didn't. The ONLY people that thought he would be close were Republicans. Every poll you took never took into consideration those people who didn't "answer the polls". You forgot the young and disenfranchised. THAT was where you went wrong.

    November 29, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  11. AZ Woman

    Look, I know part of you will hate this title but, Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, has won re-election for another 4 years. Can y'all not accept that and let ALL of the citizens of this great nation just get along? We can all compromise for the better of the nation, can't we?

    November 29, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  12. Bob

    Wow, talk about poor losers. I mean, like, these banana Republicans are on a losing streak that ain't about to break till they start looking out for everyone, not just the rich, so they better get used to losing elections as well as the hearts and minds of American who weren't born rich and have to work for a living.

    November 29, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  13. Marin89

    Republicans only care about putting an extra dollar is their pocket. While Democrats on the other hand only care about putting the Republican's dollar in their pocket. Welcome to California!!

    November 29, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  14. Chuck

    The problem with America can easily be seen reading these comments.

    November 29, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  15. Seriously?

    How many posters on here do nothing but spew hate and then try to retreat to some imagined moral high ground? There is nothing wrong with one of Romney's top supporters trying to push his republican allies towards greater loyalty to Romney and the campaign. You can disagree with him, Rep or Dem, but you don't have to hate. These campaigns seem nothing short of terrible, brutal crucibles for either party's nominee. You get demonized and painted into an untrue caricature. Romney is no soulless corporate vampire wishing to feed only his rich friends and Obama is no closet Muslim who wants to destroy America's liberties and run a nanny state. Their true differences are at the margins. Obama won 62M to 59M. Niether party should pretend the margin was something different. All the gloating and self loathing is a bit out of proportion. Dems should realize Obama received 7M fewer votes than he did in 2008 and Repubs shoud realize that Romney was only able to equal McCain's votes despite our country's continued economic malaise. Seems to me the country wants something better than what Obama's giving us but didn't quite trust Romney deliver.

    November 29, 2012 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  16. aaron

    Stevens reflects only as a true loser can.

    November 29, 2012 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  17. rev101

    Mitt – A 2x plus looser. Please don't go away mad... just go away.

    November 29, 2012 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  18. He was their Last Choice

    Not even the Republicans wanted Romney. Mr. 999 guy and the others all had flaws. Finally, they shrugged their shoulders and pointed to the last guy standing. He was a sham.

    November 29, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  19. a_writer

    "I would hope it's not seen as an excuse to show disrespect for a good man who fought hard for values we admire."

    Values that denigrates 47% of the Americans as free loaders, Values that bets against the US Dollar and deposits vast amount of wealth in offshore accounts. Values that one is afraid to divulge taxes paid over the years so that the fact that the rich is gaming the system will be exposed – Are we talking about admiring these 'Values'?

    November 29, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  20. Donald in CA

    As they say in horse racing, a nose loss is still a loss. Close dont count.

    November 29, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  21. Don

    President Obama's victory had more to do with the far right GOP than its candidate. Mitt Romney was their BEST chance based on the other primary candidates. Maybe after 4 more years they will find their soul again.

    November 29, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  22. LakeRat1

    GOP:
    Fiscal conservatives – Kind of the right idea, but way too extreme.
    Social conservatives – TOTALLY WHACKED! (and actually against many Repub core principles)

    November 29, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  23. Riddelup

    Wow, lose the election by that wide a margin and still trying to spin the facts.only this time they are only spinning in circles.

    November 29, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  24. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    332 to 206 was a close election. Susan Rice is more important than millions of Republicans staying home to help President Obama win again. The fiscal curb is no big deal, and they are SHOCKED that they lost on Nov 6.

    November 29, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  25. norevenge

    Another "out of touch" Republican. hmmm Democrats have a shortage of loyalty? where have you been last four year? Obama hired Clinton as Secretary of State even though she was his rival. And Bill Clinton and John Kerry have been loyal to Obama as well. Please continue with your old ideology so that Democrats can win again in 2016 :-). Losing is just losing so accept it and move on. Dont be a cry baby.

    November 29, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
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